Toni Bernhard joins us to speak about the updated and revised edition of her book How To Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers.
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One of the difficulties I have when teaching loving kindness or doing the practice myself through traditional recitations is about being well, or being healthy. That aspiration, even when it’s about cultivating a mind state, falls flat because it’s so very alien to my actual, lived experience. Many of us have daily pain and chronic illness, so “may I be well” can elicit not just a little cognitive dissonance, but can even be emotionally traumatic. That doesn’t mean metta is bad or that Buddhism isn’t for us, but that there may be different ways folks who are suffering in this way can meet the dhamma.
Toni Bernhard has been a longtime meditator, going on long meditation retreats and spending many hours rigorously practicing, but soon discovered that she simply could no longer engage in those difficult and taxing forms. She had to learn ways to make ‘being sick’ the heart of her spiritual practice — and through truly learning how to be sick, she learned how, even with many physical and energetic limitations, to live a life of equanimity, compassion, and joy.
So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Lemon Zinger tea.
- Toni Bernhard
- Episode 54 :: Toni Bernhard :: How to Be Sick
- Episode 183 :: Toni Bernhard :: How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow
Music for This Episode Courtesy of Rodrigo Rodriguez
The music heard in the middle of this podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. You can visit his website to hear more of his music, get the full discography, and view his upcoming tour dates.